Drink Tank

Alcohol Education the Key to Reducing Harm

Could you accurately pour a standard drink of Heavy Beer, Wine, Champagne or Scotch? Prior to a specialised AlcoCups training session, only 17.1% of the 6,000+ participants surveyed were able to accurately estimate a standard drink for specific alcoholic beverages.

With a culture that thrives on the presence and consumption of alcohol, our lack of knowledge and respect for the drug is alarming. At AlcoCups, our aim is to increase alcohol knowledge and awareness for individuals, families and communities. More importantly, we provide innovative, informative and interactive resources to empower anyone to educate others.

Our Standard Drink Pouring Kit (SDPK) highlights how to increase understanding regarding standard drinks. Developed by AlcoCups, with the support of the Australian Drug Foundation (ADF), the SDPK is an easy to implement, engaging activity.

Standard Drink Pouring KitAfter our training sessions we surveyed the participants again. 95.4% of those surveyed were able to accurately estimate a standard drink. Increasing knowledge of standard drinks subsequently allows individuals to make more informed decisions.

We recently visited a Victorian Secondary School and watched a year 11 class effectively implement the SDPK to a year 9 class. The peer to peer model fosters leaders and good role models as well as promoting life-long learning. This is a significant step in shifting Australian culture and perception of alcohol.

Can you estimate your Blood Alcohol Concentration (B.A.C.)? Prior to a specialised AlcoCups training session, only 8.3% of the 6, 000 + participants surveyed were able to estimate their B.A.C. when consuming alcohol.

The dangers and ramifications of drink driving is well documented. However, the high rates of motorists found to be over the legal limit is staggering. What is more astounding is our overall lack of education regarding the topic of B.A.C. It is no wonder our drink driving rates are not declining.

At AlcoCups we aim to increase knowledge regarding B.A.C. to reduce alcohol related harm, including drink driving. Providing Australian’s with innovative B.A.C. resources enables us to reduce this harm.

AlcoCups new educational pack, We’ve Got Your B.A.C., has seen a significant increase in individuals’ ability to understand and estimate their B.A.C. After our training sessions we surveyed the 6,000+ participants again. 96.8% of those surveyed were able to accurately estimate their B.A.C.

Being placed in situations whilst intoxicated is another way AlcoCups highlights the dangers of alcohol. How you might ask? Through the use of the Fatal Vision Goggles.

Fatal Vision Goggles mimic different levels of B.A.C. through impaired visual and cognitive responses. Placing individuals in different scenarios, whilst wearing the goggles, significantly highlights the dangers of alcohol use. Activities include:

  • Playing Mario Kart on the Nintendo Wii with a focus on drink driving,
  • Engaging in a Dance Floor Scenario with a focus on drink spiking
  • Competing in 3on3 soccer with a focus on impaired motor skills
  • Completing an obstacle course whilst writing a text message with a focus on   being less aware of surroundings.

Empowering young people to educate their peers to respect alcohol significantly increases cultural change and positive outcomes which is why supporting future leaders to pass on alcohol information is the focus of AlcoCups.

Ashley Gurney

Ashley Gurney founded AlcoCups in 2010 and has more than 10 years’ experience in the AOD sector including the Salvation Army where he was engaged as a 24/7 AOD youth outreach worker in Melbourne. AlcoCups currently provide alcohol training and resources Australia wide and aim to increase community awareness to reduce alcohol-related harm.

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